ARSENAL will visit Fulham on Saturday, September 12 for their opening Premier League match.
And the Gunners will hope to have Gabriel Magalhaes available on that day with the defender reportedly set to complete a £22m move to the Emirates as soon as today.
Get all the latest news and transfer gossip from North London here…
Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be snared by arch rivals Spurs.
SunSport revealed earlier this month that Maitland-Niles is up for sale as Mikel Arteta aims to raise transfer funds.
And the Daily Mail reports Tottenham are lining up a bid for the 22-yar-old England youth ace.
The Gunners want £30million for the versatile star but may have to settle for £20m amid the coronavirus pandemic.
BEST OF THE REST?
Arsenal win the prize nobody wanted.
The Gunners top the pile for the least amount of rest in between seasons with 28 days.
How do the rest of the top six fare?
GUNS DRAWN SHORT
Arsenal have the fewest days off out of the top six ahead of the Premier League's return.
The Gunners beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup final on August 1.
But Mikel Arteta's side will be back in action in the Charity Shield on August 29 – just 28 days of rest.
All their rivals will be far more well rested with the North London side having just a month off to recharge before 2020-21.
CAN'T HIT A BARNES DOOR
John Barnes thinks Philippe Coutinho should join Arsenal as they are the “best fit” for him.
Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “I don’t think Tottenham would be interested, as I don’t know if the way that Jose Mourinho likes to play will suit him, as he likes the ball and having a lot of possession, whereas Mourinho doesn’t necessarily play that way.
“Arsenal could be the best club with the style of football they play.
“Chelsea could be another good match, because of the way Frank Lampard sets up his team, so with that in mind, Arsenal or Chelsea would be the best solution for him.”
NOT PHIL-ING THE RUSH
Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has not thought about his future despite links with Arsenal.
The former Liverpool ace is owned by Barcelona but is currently on loan at Bayern Munich – who face PSG in Sunday's Champions League final.
And Coutinho told Esporte Interativo: “My mind is fully focused on the competition. It’s a unique opportunity for us. I’m very happy to be in the Champions League final.
“On my future, I haven’t thought about it because I’m only thinking about the final.”
RIEL HIM IN
Arsenal are closing in on Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes and the French club's owner has revealed they have told him where to go.
The Gunners are competing with Napoli for the signature of the highly-rated Brazilian 22-year-old.
And Gerard Lopez told talkSPORT: “I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal is of high interest to him, Napoli is of high interest to him.
“We’ve given him plenty of time to make up his mind…whenever we have the number that we want (in terms of fee), feel free to choose.
“We’ve given him some recommendations, but we don’t like to talk [about] it in public because we don’t want people to feel bad or whatever. But yes, we’ve told him where we think he could and should go.”
Lille's owner said Arsenal got “one hell of a deal” when they snaffled Nicolas Pepe last summer.
The Gunners broke the bank to land club-record signing Pepe for £72million.
But recently launched an investigation into their transfer dealings amid the feeling they “grossly overpaid”.
But Gerard Lopez told talkSPORT: “Arsenal did one hell of a deal.
“They got a player that other people wanted and they got a player who one club were offering more money for.
“It was Pepe’s management team that asked us to go to Arsenal and so we accepted slightly less money than we would have got somewhere else – we didn’t sell him to the highest bidder.”
Hector Bellerin was spotted with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth during his holiday in Lake Como.
The Gunners defender, 25, is currently enjoying some late summer sun in the stunning Italian lakes with his parents.
The fashion-loving Arsenal ace was spotted with a cigarette in his mouth during dinner, as his dad sipped on a glass of wine.
The group also enjoyed a boat trip on the lake, with Bellerin whipping off his blue and cream shirt to soak up the last of the summer rays.
It was a well-earned break for the Spaniard, who not only overcame an injury to return to the Arsenal first XI last season, but also designed his team-mates' FA Cup final suits.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURES OF BELLERIN ON HOLIDAY
MAKES SANS TO ME
Louis Saha believes Arsenal are on the brink of completing a deal to land French compatriot Morgan Sanson.
Boss Mikel Arteta is lining up a move for the midfielder as a direct replacement for outcast Matteo Guendouzi.
Sanson, 26, is braced to leave Marseille this summer after being embroiled in a contract dispute with the Ligue 1 side.
He still has two years left on his deal and the two clubs are thought to be haggling over their £36million asking price.
But former Manchester United striker Saha hinted Arsenal will get the deal over the line this summer.
Speaking on the Football Index Podcast, he said: “I heard that Morgan Sanson is potentially moving to Arsenal.”
DANI HAPPY RETURNS
Dani Ceballos has given Joe Willock big birthday wishes on the Arsenal youngster's 21st birthday.
The Spaniard said: “Happy birthday little brother.”
And lower down he added the caption: “See you soon.”
This is leading Arsenal fans to believe the midfielder IS staying put!
Fans will reportedly be treated to an extra 20 live Premier League games in 2020/21 although NONE will be free.
There was hope that, with fans not expected to return to stadiums for a couple of months at least, broadcasters will again allow for a handful of free-to-air games.
However, Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime are said to have successfully banded together to keep matches on their subscription services.
The Mail report that, with fans locked out for the start of the campaign at least, 20 more games will be shown.
Sky's total has been bolstered by 12 to total a whopping 140 live games, with BT handed six more to make 58.
Online streaming service Amazon Prime, which secured a number of games from the decision to show every game during the lockdown, ups its tally from 20 to 22.
Lyon have reportedly rejected a bid from Arsenal for Houssem Aouar involving outcast star Matteo Guendouzi.
The French midfielder looks increasingly likely to head for the Emirates exit after falling out with Mikel Arteta.
Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Roma and Unai Emery's new club Villarreal are all linked with Guendouzi.
According to L'Equipe, via GFFN, Arsenal attempted to move on the 21-year-old by offering him in a player-plus-cash deal for Lyon star Aouar.
At 22, Aouar has become an integral part of the Ligue 1 side's midfield and is said to be valued at £54million.
The Champions League semi-finalists are not optimistic about their chances of holding on to the attacking midfielder.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brother has shared photos of him and the Arsenal striker heading on a private jet.
Aubameyang is still waiting on confirmation of a new Arsenal contract.
He since shared a photo himself and wife Alysha in Milan.
BRINGS TIERS TO MY EYES
Arsenal fans are *LOVING* this creation.
And there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't.
Hang it in the home changing rooms at the Emriates.
Amazon Prime Video have released the 20 fixtures fans can watch for free in the 2020/21 Premier League season – including Liverpool against Tottenham.
Just like last season, the online streaming platform won the rights to two complete match weeks.
An extra two additional individual fixtures will be confirmed at a later date.
But in the two rounds of Premier League matches already in the Prime diary, Spurs' trip to Anfield is the standout tie.
Amazon have the midweek games from December 15 to 17 as well as the round of fixtures between the Boxing Day games and New Year, from December 28 to 30.
All 20 matches will be shown live on Amazon Prime Video across the two three-day windows.
Gabriel Magalhaes is set for his Arsenal medical today, according to reports.
The Lille defender, 22, looks on course to complete a £22million transfer to the Gunners in the coming days.
And according to journalist Duncan Castles, he will get checked over by doctors before signing a five-year deal at the Emirates.
But it is likely he will need to have the medical in France due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
Arrivals in the UK from France must go into a 14-day quarantine.
Unless he can somehow get an exemption, that would mean the Brazilian would not be able to meet up with his team-mates until early September.
ARSENAL'S BIG BATTLES
Here are the key fixtures for the Gunners this season.
COMETH THE AOUAR
Manchester City are ready to rival Arsenal for the signature of Houssem Aouar.
According to reports, the Lyon midfielder is being highly sought-after among Europe's top clubs.
According to Matt Spiro, his price has jumped from £36million to around £54m, following Lyon's impressive run to the Champions League semi-finals.
OPENING WEEKEND STATS
Here are some preview facts ahead of this weekend, courtesy of Opta.
- Fulham have lost each of their last five Premier League matches against Arsenal, conceding nine goals in their two defeats against the Gunners the last time they were in the top-flight in 2018/19 (1-5 home, 1-4 away).
- Arsenal and Fulham have only met on the opening day once previously in the top-flight, with the Gunners coming from behind to beat the Cottagers 2-1 on MD1 in 2007/08.
- Arsenal are looking to win on MD1 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2009/10 (three in a row), while Fulham have lost their opening day game in each of their last two seasons, losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace in 2018/19 and 1-0 to Barnsley last season.
GAME OF MARBLES
Arsenal have unveiled their new away kit, which has a rather fetching marbling effect.
Here are the Gunners' final five games of the next new season.
Sat May 1 – Newcastle (A)
Sat May 8 – West Brom (H)
Weds May 12 – Chelsea (A)
Sat May 15 – Crystal Palace (A)
Sun May 23 – Brighton (H)
FIRST FIVE GAMES
Here are the Gunners' first games in the new Prem season. Note that 'Saturday' games are subject to change, as usually happens when the broadcasters have their say.
Mikel Arteta's side will face Liverpool and Manchester City in these opening games!
Sat Sept 12 – Fulham (A)
Sat Sept 19 – West Ham (H)
Sat Sept 26 – Liverpool (A)
Sat Oct 3 – Sheffield Utd (H)
Sat Oct 17 – Man City (A)
Arsenal will travel to Fulham on the opening day of the Premier League season on Saturday, September 12.
GLASGOW 'JUDAS' SHAME
Kieran Tierney has revealed someone spray-painted 'Judas' near his home after his move to Arsenal was announced.
The left-back quit boyhood heroes Celtic last summer after sealing a £25million move to the Gunners.
The move split opinion among the Hoops faithful with some furious at one of their own walking out ahead of the Nine in a Row campaign
And Tierney has revealed he was left heartbroken reading Twitter messages from supporters during the transfer.
Speaking on Open Goal's Keeping the Ball on the Ground Podcast, he said: “It was just sad the way it ended. People turning and all that.
“Some people make it out to be what it's not and it's not that at all.”
WIN TOGETHER, LUIZ TOGETHER
Arsenal’s new signing Willian revealed close pal David Luiz convinced him to join the Gunners.
Willian told the Arsenal club website: “He's very happy. We played together in the national team, we played together at Chelsea, and now at Arsenal again.
“I think we can do great things together, I hope so, but I'm very happy to be with him again.
“He said, 'Come to Arsenal, come to Arsenal, I want you to come!' So that was the conversation.
“He is a very nice guy, a top player and I'm very excited to play with him again.
“Of course [he helped in the past], many times. Many times when I had difficult times at Chelsea he was helping me a lot.”
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